Belgium food

Food à la Belge

So… after the previous articles, we’ve convinced you to visit Belgium. You’re there; you visit places, travel, meet people… What else is to do in this small country? Well… you could eat!

Belgian cuisine has for a long time been considered one of the best that Western Europe has to offer. Although not as developed and well known as the French one, as meaty as the German one and as pale as the Dutch one, the Belgian food can be considered a combination of all these. Some have described it as being “French food in German portions”. belgium-food

The most known product of Belgium is frites (that’s “Fries” in French/Dutch). The label “French fries” has its origins in First World War Europe. At that time, American soldiers used to eat small potato pieces from their Belgian counterparts, but because the Belgians spoke French, they mistakenly dubbed them “French fries”. In fact, they are entirely Belgian and entirely… good.belgium-food

The “secret” is that Belgian fries, as opposed to those made in other places around the world, are double-dipped in baths of hot oil, making them more consistent, but also fatter. The sauces also contribute to the “legend”: Andalouse, Cocktail, Bicky – all are a typical part of the Belgian fries meal. Good fried potatoes can be found all over Belgium, but one particularly famous place is in Brussels’ Place Jourdan – Maison Antoine. If you want to learn more about the origin and history of Belgian fries, visit Bruges’ Frites Museum; it’s an interesting experience and you also get a free sample with your entrance ticket.

courtesy of restaurant-guide.cz

courtesy of restaurant-guide.cz

Secondly, the country is full of seafood restaurants (obviously! it’s close to the North Sea). The ingredient that is common for most dishes are the oysters. Served with butter, in a soup or with tomato sauce, they are omnipresent in Belgian cuisine. In addition, snails have an important place as regards street food, with a large number of shops that sell freshly stewed snails directly from the pot.

Other dishes are “imported” from other cultures. The quiche is largely popular there, as it is in France. The most explicit description for this dish would be: potato and meat pie. Some have it with cream on the top; some do not. Pork spare ribs have become a big thing in Belgium in recent years, with restaurant chains such as Amadeus offering them à volonte for a fixed number of euros.

courtesy of thec10.com

courtesy of thec10.com

For desert, there is the waffle (or the gauffre, as it is locally called). This is basically liquid dough placed on a special grill (that also gives it that specific shape), after which the fried result is dipped in sugar, Nutella, whipped cream or other sweet things that you can think of. Waffles come in two types, Brussels’s and Liege’s waffle. The taste is the same; the only thing that differs is the shape – the form is squared and the latter is round.

Oddly enough, restaurant recommendations are not necessary for Belgium. As the biggest part of local cuisine is street food, “traditional” restaurants can be found around the corner. Areas with chique restaurants are the Saint Gerry Square, in Brussels, the center of Gent and the boardwalk lining the coast, in Oostende. It’s not just local food that you’ll find there, but also international cuisine. Enough talk! More eating! Bon appetit!

Brussels Belgium

Brussels – sights, food, hotels and many more…

As mentioned in our previous article on Belgium, Brussels is the capital and largest city of this small Western European country. With almost 1.2 million people living there, it goes by as a medium-size European city, but the presence of the European institutions makes it much more than that…

brussels-belgium

Brussels has a history of more than 1000 years, being founded in the early Middle Ages by a Frank ruler. The city has been, over time, under the sovereignty of the French, the Spanish (yes, the Spanish!) and the Dutch. It has gone from being a Dutch-speaking small town to today’s Francophone metropolis.

Brussels proper is no more than 120 thousand big, but the region, formed by a total of 18 so-called communes (that is “municipality” in French) makes it a bustling European city. It has changed a lot since WWII, with the building of the European institutions and major infrastructure projects (the city is literally crossed by a network of underground tunnels) shaping the urban landscape.

courtesy of viola.bz

courtesy of viola.bz

The old part of town, the centre-ville, around the Grand Place (“Large Market”, in English) is the main tourist attraction that Brussels has to offer. The area is riddled with chocolate shops, fries restaurants, souvenirs and beautiful architecture, making it the ideal place for a walk in the afternoon.

courtesy of vacation-rentals.com

courtesy of vacation-rentals.com

To the east, one can visit the Arc du Cinquantanaire, a magnificent example of late 19th century architecture. It was built to mark the 50th anniversary of the Belgian state, in 1880. The Arc also houses the Military and Car Museums of Belgium (both worth a visit, but with a rather expensive entrance fee).  Additionally, the European institutions are just around the corner. The European

Parliament offers regular guided tours of its building (book them in advance here), and the Jourdan or Luxembourg squares, located nearby, are good places to have lunch among the so-called Eurocrats.

battle of waterloo re-enacted

courtesy of dailymail.co.uk

Other sights include the Battlefield of Waterloo, located just South of Brussels (the place where Napoleon lost his final battle), the Manneken Piss (a small bronze statue of a boy pissing – it’s said that his piss extinguished a fire, so he must have been a big beer lover…), but also the Atomium (a 80 meter tall structure that resembles an atom – the site is a bit overrated, but is worth a visit).

The food in Brussels (as everywhere in Belgium) is just brilliant. The classic Belgian fries (incorrectly labeled “French fries” by the Americans during WWI) and sweet and tasty waffles are an absolute must. You can find good waffles all around the Grande Place at an average price of 4 euros per piece, and some of the best fries in Belgium are made by Maison Antoine, located in Jourdan Square (they’re a bit pricey and almost all the time there is queue, but it’s worth the effort). The Saint Gerry area around the Stock Exchange provides a wide range of small and cozy restaurants with cuisine from 40 different countries.

Where to stay in Brussels?

Lodging can be found easily on Booking.com or similar sites. For the ones that like to travel and live cheap, the offer for Brussels on airbnb is huge, so you’ll find a place in no time. If you’re the fancy type, try some of the boutique hotels located around the Grande Place or the modern Eurocrat-hosting places on Rue de la Loi.

To end, a few tips: Brussels is well known in Europe for its high crime rate and lack of cleanness. Be careful with your possessions (best not carry all the money you have on you, at all times). The public transport is well organized and pretty clear to understand, but it suffers from the constant strikes of the personnel (check in advance for these kind of events so they don’t take you by surprise). Also, be careful with taxis – they are expensive and some drivers can scam you, unfortunately – better use Uber. Nothing left to say but: Have a pleasant stay in Brussels!

Hooking up with Hungarian girls

written by a friend Cosmin

Getting a date in Hungary for dummies…

Hungary has become in recent years one of the most attractive tourist destinations in Europe. Budapest, a metropolis of almost 2 million people filled with monuments and history, but also other objectives in the country, like the Balaton lake and cultural-rich countryside, have made many people come to the Central European country and spend their holidays there.

hungarian-girls

courtesy of siamanswer.com

One of the most unknown “attractions” of Hungary is its beautiful feminine population. On the street, in hotels, in museums, in the metro; if you spent more than 15 min in one of these places, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Hungarian girls have for long been considered very pretty by European standards, but the recent tourist surge to Central Europe has made them more visible. They are often characterized by opposite traits: elegant, but also negligent; classy, but also modern; frivolous, but also slutty. It’s a strange combination that you’ll probably not gonna’ meet anywhere else in the world.

As a foreigner, your chances of getting hooked up (especially in Budapest) are quite high. Similar to Romanian girls, the magyars are interested in different cultures (especially Western) and languages, they like hearing stories about distant places and adventures. It would also be good if you would make the effort of learning a few words in the local language (I’ve just mentioned one for you –magyar- at the beginning of the paragraph so “you’re welcome!”).

courtesy of budapestagent.com

courtesy of budapestagent.com

The ideal meeting places for girls are of course nightclubs and bars, but also parks (Budapest has plenty of them and people like to go for long picnics in the summer time there). As opposed to Bucharest, the Hungarian capital does not have an area where all the bars and clubs are concentrated. These kinds of establishments are spread around town (prepare your cab money!). Best way to have the whole experience and be able to meet a lot of new people is to do one of the Pub Crawls offered by restaurant owners in Budapest (you’ll easily find them online). If you’re the posh Range Rover loving-type of person, then go to the Peaches & Cream Club – the atmosphere is quite impressive and the women are stunning (best take all your credit cards, euros, dollars, forints and other currency you posses though, because you’ll be spending plenty).

One good tactic to approach Hungarian girls is to become friends with a man (yeah! I know it sounds strange, but bare with me here). As “packs” of girls never roam around town at night alone, but with 2 or 3 male buddies (who are either friendzoned or too uninteresting to date), the way to the girls goes through the men’s… beer. Make friends with them, buy them a drink, talk footy and then… open roads to the girls.

courtesy of miautoculiacan.com

courtesy of miautoculiacan.com

Once you get there, try dancing, talking, gentle touches on the hand (they really like that, but don’t be a creep). Hungarians are not pretentious and they will easily befriend you – don’t need to put much effort into it; even the most unskilled man can approach a Hungarian woman quite easily.

Finally, some top tips: don’t start talking politics – don’t know if you’re following the news or not, but the Hungarian government is going a bit right-wing (a bit more, to be honest), and the Hungarian people seem to support them, so it’s best not to tell your opinions (nobody there cares about them!) on how “fascist, irredentist” or what-not the Hungarian government is; don’t take it personally if they make a lot of jokes about you or talk Hungarian behind your back so that you can’t understand. They do that with everybody, not just you; and, to end, the same tip goes for Romanian and Hungarian girls alike – be mindful of scammers; you never know when your bank card will get emptied in an ATM in Szeged. Érezd jól magad! (that is Have fun! in Hungarian, not a swear word)

Places to visit in Belgium

Belgium – the sweet and sour of Western Europe

On the shores of the North Sea, between France and the Netherlands, lies the small country of Belgium (well… it’s not that small when you compare it to its tiny neighbor, Luxembourg). Inhabited by 10 million people, it is probably one of the weirdest countries in Europe. It literally houses two separate and totally different populations – the Flemish and the Walloons.

The country has a long history of being split between its more powerful neighbors, the Netherlands and France. Even Spain once dominated these lands (back in the days when they used to dominate half of the known world). Belgium has existed as a state only since 1830, when it gained independence from the Netherlands. Its evolution since then has been tumultuous. It was a colonial power (sparking one of the biggest human rights disasters the world has ever seen), it was twice invaded by Germany, in WWI and WWII – talk about bad luck… -, and it went through massive riots in the 60’s and 70’s that almost split up the country.

Today, Belgium is a kingdom and federal state, with three main ethnic populations: the Dutch-speaking Flemish, the Francophone Walloons and the much less numerous Germans. King Philippe is the country’s head of state (the Belgians love their king, but not in a flamboyant, enthusiastic way, as the British or the Dutch do) and he’s held the crown for only two years now. Belgium is also one of the most developed countries in the world, the European gateway for diamonds (Antwerp), and, more importantly, home of the inadequately called French fries, waffles and a couple of thousand of types of beer.

courtesy of drinkingmadeeasy.com

courtesy of drinkingmadeeasy.com

A visit to Belgium should (and will) probably start in Brussels, the country’s capital. You’ll find here a 2 million-big metropolis with an international atmosphere. The city houses and  the European Union institutions with more than 100 thousand people from different places in Europe working here (truly the capital of Europe), but also impressive monuments, such as the Atomium (a 20th century 60-metres high structure that looks like an atom).  The Grand Place, the old town’s main square, with one of the most impressive examples of Belgian architecture in the country. The Parc de Cinquentenaire and its Triumphal Arch, built for the 50th anniversary of the Belgian state.

courtesy of wikitravel.org

courtesy of wikitravel.org

Next stop: Flandres, more specifically, Bruges and Gent, the region’s main towns. Both display brilliant examples of Flemish architecture, with houses dating way back from the 17th century. Both these towns were once upon a time, inland ports, so they both have extensive canal networks (a boat trip is definitely worth-while). If you have time, pass by Antwerp and Ieper (or Ypres, in French) also. The first is one of Europe’s major ports, houses one of the most impressive zoo’s in the country (attention! they have pandas!) and a unique diamond museum. Ieper was the site of one of the biggest battles in WWI, so if you’re a history passionate “looking for cover” in real-life trenches, Ypres’s the place to go.

places-to-visit-in-belgium-2

In the South of the country, Wallonia also has a lot to offer. Liege and Mons are both interesting places to visit (especially Mons, the European Capital of Culture for 2015), with both civil and religious medieval architecture in place. Additionally, if you’re in Liege, take the time and visit the Blegny coal mine. The experience is highly interactive and you get to live the life of an ordinary 20th century Belgian coal miner, even if only for a couple of hours.

Finally, a few tips: don’t leave Belgium without trying the frites (French fries) and gauffre (waffle) – and remember the old Belgian saying: “The dirtier the restaurant, the better the food”; although Belgian beer is great and the variety is so large that it would probably take you a lifetime to try them all, be careful – it’s also very strong; in Belgium, you don’t need more than two beers to sing on the way home; and, one final important thing to remember: Belgium is not the cheapest tourist destination so be sure you bring enough money (and cash; sometimes they can be a bit restrictive towards the types of cards they accept). Nothing more to say than: Bienvenue en Belgique!

Thailand travel tips

We have had the pleasure of visiting Thailand many times.  We met some nice  and friendly thai people. It is a great place to go.  But there are a few things you should know.  Here are a few tips for traveling to thailand:

thailand-travel-tips

Be polite.  Thai people are very cool people but that does not mean you can misbehave in their country.  It will just cause animosity against foreigners visiting their country.  While we were there we saw an middle eastern man yelling at the police.  He was making a complete fool of himself.  Things like this make you and everyone who looks like you look very bad.

thailand-travel-tips

Great food Beware.  The food is amazing but if your stomach is not used to too rich spices, you may want to avoid it.  If you are a foodie with a strong stomach, you will be in heaven.  Thailand is a food adventure especially if you can handle hot food.  Try the grass hoppers, they taste like potato chips!

thailand-travel-tips

Backpacking.  You will see lots of young, European backpackers walking around.  If you decide to do it, you should be prepared.  Thailand is very hot and humid.  Bring some sunscreen and very comfortable shoes.

thailand-travel-tips

Bring Condoms.  Thailand is one of the most sexually open places in the world.  They don’t see sexuality or sexual orientation like Westerners.  You may have many opportunities for sex.  Protect yourself.

thailand-travel-tips

Money. Bring only what you intend to spend for the night. There are so much entertainment in both Bangkok and Pattaya. It is hard to control the temptation of spending when you are in the middle having fun.

 

The crowds in some parts of Thailand are overwhelming.  Pattaya, for example, is a very touristy area and you can expect that everywhere you go will  have a crowd.  There are also many foreigners who settled in Thailand and get married to Thai women.

 

 

 

A little Paris of Bucharest Romania

written by Cosmin

Bucharest Romania – Little Paris of the East

As mentioned in our previous piece on Romania, Bucharest is its capital and biggest city.  Definitely the most developed urban settlement in Romania, Bucharest is one of the biggest metropolitan areas in Europe and a powerful administrative, financial and cultural center in Eastern Europe.  It is also the most probable landing spot when you arrive in Romania (if you’re flying, of course) as the busiest airport in the country is located on the capital’s outskirts.

History-wise, Bucharest is not an old city, by European standards. The first mention of its existence was in the 15th century, in a letter between two local traders. Since then, it has seen astonishing changes.

courtesy of www.bucharestdailyphoto.com

courtesy of http://www.bucharestdailyphoto.com[/caption%5D

Until the 19th century, it remained rather undeveloped, with an unfitting infrastructure, often struck by either diseases or floods.  Bucharest was the seat of the ruler of Wallachia, in what is now called the Old Court in what is now called Old Town.  Everything revolved around the administrative buildings and the town that was basically a big Turkish bazaar.

Towards the end of the 19th century, French and German influence replaced the Turkish one, and the city started to change.  Classical buildings and imposing public monuments emerged. The Cantacuzino Palace, the Telephone’s Palace, the CEC Palaces, the National Bank; they all date from that era.  The highlife center shifted further north, to what is today called Calea Victoriei, from the Old Court, on the banks of the Dambovita River.

After WWII, a new era began for Bucharest, a rather red one… Communists took over in Romania and Nicolae Ceausescu (Romania’s world renown dictator – you might have heard of him under the name “Genius of the Carpathians”).  Nicholae transformed the city according to his personal will.  He razed entire neighborhoods to make way for his dreamed “Civic Centre”, including the current ministries buildings and the humongous Palace of Parliament.

Today, of course, Bucharest is a mixture of all these styles, with very few areas that have a unitary style of architecture. Top sights include:

  • The Palace of Parliament, the heaviest building in the world, the biggest administrative building in the world, the most voluminous building in the world (and this can go on… a lot of records for this place); it’s not to be missed; you’ll definitely be impressed by its size and, if you’re not familiar with communism and its “art-work”, by its kitschy architectural style.

    [caption id="attachment_3209" align="aligncenter" width="300"]courtesy of worldalldetails.com courtesy of worldalldetails.com

  • Calea Victoriei – the once-fanciest area of town, where you can find magnificent buildings like: the CEC Palace, the Army’s Club, the Telephone’s Palace, the Athenaeum, the seat of the government and many more.
    courtesy of bucharest-shoppingguide.com

    courtesy of bucharest-shoppingguide.com

  • The Old Town – the place to go if you like partying in old style buildings, or just want to have a good cup of coffee and enjoy the sun on the patio.
    courtesy of unknownbucharest.com

    courtesy of unknownbucharest.com

  • Herastrau Park – one of the biggest parks in Bucharest and definitely one of the most spectacular I have ever seen.bucharest-romania
  • Restaurant recommendations include Carul cu Bere (a restaurant that has been functioning continuously since the 18th century), La Placinte (traditional Romanian-Moldovan food), 18 Lounge by Embassy (if you like a view, you’ll really enjoy this panorama from the 17th floor of an office building in the North part of town), and many others.

    As for hotels, look up those nice boutique hotels that made probably made your stay better in places like Paris, Rome or Prague; Bucharest has them too: Carol Park Hotel, Hotel Cismigiu, Hotel Berthelot – all located in the center, close to all the big monuments, with high-class services.

      In the end, some tips: be careful with taxi drivers, always ask them to turn on the taximeter or else they’ll scam you, bring both sun-glasses and an umbrella – weather is unpredictable in Bucharest, even in the summer, no need for a lot of money – Bucharest is one of the cheapest tourist destinations in Europe. Distractie placuta!

    Manitou springs bed and breakfast

    Manitou Springs is among the top attraction in Colorado.  It is a very beautiful place to see.  It is filled with authentic shops, ice cream shops, restaurants and bed and breakfast hotels.

    You will often see runners going up Barr Trail or hiking up the Incline early in the morning.  Next to the trail you can see the Cog Rail, a trail that goes up Pikes Peak.

    There are several options for Manitou bed and breakfast in the area for you to stay during your trip.

    1. Avenue Hotel Bed and Breakfast has a good rating in google reviews with an average room price of $130.00.  The advantage of this bed and breakfast place is that it is very accessible and walking distance to all the unique shops and attractions of Manitou Springs.  http://www.avenuehotelbandb.com/manitou-springs-bed-and-breakfast
    2. Red Crags bed and breakfast is a place full of antique stuff on it. The rooms look elegant but sadly do not have very good reviews from people that have stayed there.  It is situated .3 miles away from the Garden of the Gods.  Room prices ranges from $100.00- $200.00. http://www.redcrags.com/manitou-springs-bed-and-breakfast
    3. Bed and Breakfast at Historic Onaledge. Would you mind staying with ghosts? Well, hopefully they won’t appear during your stay.  That is scary.  Or maybe the ghosts are gone or perhaps they just made it up as a promotion to sell this b&b place.  Onaledge is old but clean with good customer service.  It is one of the top locations in Manitou Springs with a good tripadvisor review.  It should be worth it.  The rooms look very old fashioned.  The room rate starts at  $125.00.  Their website is http://www.onaledge.net/ manitou-spings-bed-and-breakfast
    4. Agate Hill is another bed and breakfast Inn and cottages in Colorado Springs Area. The rates are not available on their website but you can call them directly on their number 719-685-0685.  You can contact them on their website at http://www.agatehill.com/ .manitou-springs-bed-and-breakfast
    5. Rockledge Country Inn has the most beautiful rooms among the other Manitou Springs rooms.  Among all the places I have seen, Rockledge has the best location.  It gives the most spectacular view of the mountains that really highlights the beautiful rock formation of Colorado. The rooms look spacious and pretty with excellent tripadvisor reviews.  Room rates ranges from $125.00 – $250.00         http://www.rockledgeinn.com/guest-room-1.htmlmanitou-springs-bed-and-breakfast
    6. Blue Skies Inn has a google review of 4.4 out of 5.  It is a pretty good review for an Inn.  Their website needs more development.  Although the Blue Skies Inn is not modern they have excellent services that  accommodate tourists and business travelers.  Room prices range from $ 145.00 – $ 240.00.  http://www.blueskiesinn.com/manitou-springs-bed-and-breakfast
      There are plenty of bed and breakfast that you can find in Manitou Springs. You may even get a cheaper price in other places that are not listed here check out the online reviews to get an idea of what they have to offer.
      Other Places in Manitou:

    Comfort Inn

    The Cliff house at Pikes peak

    Rodeway INN

    Americas Best Value Inn Villa Hotel

    Magnuson Hotel Manitou Springs

    Silver Saddle Motel

    Pikes Peak Inn

    Eagle Motel

    Days Inn Manitou Springs

    Dillon Motel

     

     

     

    UK Tourist Visa

    Thinking of a UK Tourist Visa?  You may need to apply for a General Visitor Visa.  It really depends on where you are coming from and your status with the United Kingdom.  In some cases you don’t need a visa.  You can check if you need a UK visa at https://www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa.

    As the Brits would say, the site is “brilliant”!  It asks you a few questions and the lets you know if you need a uk visa:

    What Passport do you have?

    What are you coming to the UK to do?

    For example, I have a Philippines passport and I would like to visit the UK for tourism.  So I need a General Visit Visa to visit the UK.

    uk-tourist-visa

    The General Visit Visa is for the following:

    • you want to visit the UK for leisure, eg as a tourist on holiday
    • you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland
    • you’re visiting friends or family who aren’t permanent residents in the UK
    • you’re donating an organ to a relative or friend

    I would have to apply months in advanced because it will take a while to get information on whether or not I can go:

    • You can apply for a visa up to 3 months before your date of travel to the UK.
    • You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks.
    • Check the guide processing times to find out how long getting a visa might take in the country you’re applying from.
      courtesy of thaivisa-express.com

      courtesy of thaivisa-express.com

    According to gov.uk:

    • You can stay in the UK for up to 6 months with a General Visitor visa.
    • You can also apply for a long-term visit visa if you can prove you need to make repeat visits over a longer period. You can stay for a maximum of 6 months on each visit and your visa can last for 1, 2, 5 or 10 years.

    My husband, using his USA passport going to UK for tourism, would not need a General Visit Visa.  The site offers a little uk visa advice and states that if he had a criminal record or had be previously denied entry to the UK, he would need to apply for a ukvisa.

    Immigration uk

    fyi – If you wanted immigrate to the UK then things change quite a bit.  UK immigration rules are quite different from just visiting for a short time.  You can get more information on types of immigration and visas here: https://www.gov.uk/browse/visas-immigration or if you are already in the uk: https://www.gov.uk/contact-ukvi

    London travel tips

     This post was sent to dimetravel from someone who traveled to London.

    There are a lot of places in the world that are overrated.  When everyone hyping up a tourist attraction it is easy to get sucked into it.  That being said, London, England has three horrible places you must avoid as if you life depends on it.

    No matter how attractive it looks, no matter how many people try to tell you to go DO NOT listen.  Here are the places to black list:

    • Borough Market (on the Weekends)
    • Oxford Street
    • Buckingham Palace

    1. Borough Market on Weekends

    courtesy of https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCQigir809c

    courtesy of https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCQigir809c%5B/caption%5D

    Borough Market will try to lure you in with a wide range of delicious food items. Artisan chocolates, Parma ham, Herrings, Pate and many other amazing London delights are all over Borough.  All this sounds great but believe me, it is better not to go there especially on weekends. You cannot even imagine the situation you will get yourself in if you go on a Saturday afternoon.  There is a mountain of people there shopping.  If you MUST go to Borough Market on the weekends than at least go early:  6am.  At 6am you may get a chance to try out the free food samples there.

    I would recommend Broadway Market over Borough if you want to go shopping in London.  Another good one is the Real Food market at Southbank Centre.  If you still insist on visiting Borough Market, don’t blame on me.. you have been warned.

    2. The Oxford Street

    [caption id="attachment_3243" align="aligncenter" width="300"]london-travel-tips courtesy of shutterstock.com

    Oxford is even worse than Borough Market for shopping.  The place is packed. You’ll even forget that you went for shopping.  There is barely enough room to move.  This place should be avoided especially if you have small children.  It is just too crowded and it is too easy for them to get lost.

    An alternative would be to go for Covent Garden or Carnaby Street.

    3. Buckingham Palace

    london-travel-tips

    It is probably London’s most popular attraction.  While it is definitely beautiful it is boring.  There is nothing going on there.  If you are with a group of people, someone will want to go and drag you along.  The power of the Queen pulls everyone in.   We all know the palace is beautiful and the park is fascinating. You go there thinking that there will be some kind of exciting event but after a while you realize there is nothing happening. You are not going to see a formal march or a flyover or a balcony scene.  What you may see is the changing of the guards and if you really want to see this, you are welcome to go there.

     

    hiking colorado springs

    Hiking in Colorado Springs is one of the most popular past times among locals.  Here are some pointers, tips and advice for first time travelers wanting to hike “the Springs”.

    Basic Rules of the Trail 

    The  common rule when hiking is to stay on the trail.  This is not only for your own safety.   It is also to avoid disturbing the natural habitat of the trail.  Pets are popular companions but you need to keep them on a leash.  Some owners with very well behaved people friendly dogs tend to let their dog loose.  It is common courtesy to pick up after your dog if they poop on the trail.  Another in said rule of the trail is to move out of the way for runners and bikers.

    Activities and Local of the Springs 

    There are lots of activities in Colorado Springs that the locals and tourists can do.  I have noticed that people here are health conscious.  This is due to the high number of military people in the Springs.  There are 5 bases in Colorado mostly Army and Air Force and they have to stay fit.  Many people that live here are working for the military.

    A Few Hiking Trails in Colorado Springs

    List of Colorado Springs hiking trails/colorado parks that also allow pets to walk around.

    hiking-colorado-springs

    Garden of the Gods is one of the most beautiful attraction in Colorado Springs. It is also a local destination for hiking with families and pets.  It is a hot spot for bikers and climbers. Garden of the gods is a habitat to many animal and has a total land area of 1,319.1 acres.

    hiking-colorado-springs

    Red Rock Canyon Open Space is located at 3550 W High St, Colorado Springs, CO 80904. It has tons of trails that hikers can go to. Pets also have their own trail for them to run around without being on leash. I think that part is cool because they can roam around in their own trail.

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    Barr Trail is an amazing hiking trail. It is goes up an Pikes Peak mountain which you can run or hike for miles. It is also connected to the Incline.  Barr trail is the same trail that people use in going down after the Incline climb.

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    Manitou Springs Incline – is a tough work out going up for 1 mile. It is a rough exercise for the body.  Those who are not so fit may need to prepare for this one.  Your joints will probably hurt a lot if you are not use to a hard exercise. A perfect time to hike there would be 5:00 – 6:00 in the morning when the sun is still rising.

    Rock Island Trail – coming soon

    Bear Creek Canon Park – coming soon

     

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